Former Panelists of Women Rocking Hollywood

Hanelle Culpepper

Hanelle Culpepper is an award-winning director whose credits range from superhero action adventures, to thrillers, to character-driven dramas. In 2019, she was chosen to direct the pilot for Star Trek: Picard, making her the first woman to launch a new Star Trek series in its 53-year history. Hanelle earned her B.A. from Lake Forest College and her M.A. from USC's Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism. After working for Oscar-winning screenwriter/director Callie Khouri, Hanelle participated in the AFI's Directing Workshop for Women. Her DWW short A Single Rose screened at film festivals worldwide, including the 2004 Cannes Film Festival. Hanelle has helmed multiple independent thrillers, including Murder on the 13th Floor starring Tessa Thompson. Participating in NBC Universal’s Directing Initiative led to an episodic directing role for Parenthood, and to subsequent television work on Counterpart, Mayans M.C., Criminal Minds, Grimm, American Crime, The Flash, and Gotham.  In 2015, Hanelle was nominated for an Image Award for Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series, and was announced as one of the first directors in the ReFrame Rise mentorship program. She just directed an episode for the new season of NOS4A2, and is currently attached for the pilot of a reimagining of the 70s cult classic TV series Kung Fu, and has a number of films in development.

Follow Hanelle at @Hillview798 on Twitter!

Follow Hanelle on HanelleCulpepper on Instagram!

Visit to learn more about Hanelle!

Rosemary Rodriguez

Rosemary Rodriguez has built a career working on both her own features and in episodic television. Rosemary has won awards for independent features Acts of Worship and Silver Skies, which she both wrote and directed, and has become one of the go-to guest directors on the small screen.  Her credits include Rise, The Walking Dead, Jessica Jones, The Good Wife, and Elementary among many more. Currently she is executive producer and director of three episodes of the brand new Apple TV+ show Home Before Dark. Created by Dana Fox and Dara Resnik, it stars Brooklynn Price and Jim Sturgess as an amateur sleuth and her dad, and it’s based on the real life of young journalist Hilde Lysiak.

Follow Angela at @rosemarydirects on Twitter!

Follow Rosemary on rosemarydirects on Instagram!

Jen McGowan

Jen McGowan’s most recent feature film as director, the survival thriller Rust Creek, was released in theaters January 2019 by IFC Midnight, and hailed as “the feminist thriller Hollywood needs right now” by Harpers Bazaar. McGowan's first feature Kelly and Cal, starring Juliette Lewis and Cybill Shepherd, premiered at SXSW, where she won the Gamechanger Award. The film was released theatrically by IFC Films to rave reviews.  In partnership with Level Forward, she is the creator of Glass Elevator, an international skill-sharing, networking & jobs resource for professional women in film & television. With over 4000 members, Glass Elevator was named Best in LA by LA Weekly, is part of the Sundance Women’s Initiative Resource, and was featured in Forbes. Take the Lead Foundation identified McGowan one of 50 Women Who Will Change the World in Media & Entertainment, and WeForShe selected her for the 2019 DirectHer program. A Film Independent Fellow, finalist for the Clint Eastwood Filmmakers Award, and recipient of the AWD Breakout Award for Excellence in Directing, she was named one of Vulture’s Women Directors Hollywood Should Be Hiring. McGowan made her scripted television directorial debut with an episode of The Purge for Blumhouse, is currently has several projects in development, and is a director on the upcoming season 2 of The Twilight Zone.

Follow Jen at @IAmJenMcG on Twitter!

C Fitz

C. Fitz is an accomplished film and television director, producer and writer, as well as marketing professional. As a filmmaker, TV showrunner and television director, she has won multiple awards for her scripted and unscripted work, as well as developed TV series, including Bravo’s Queer Eye for The Straight Guy, and ABC Family’s Knock First. Fitz directed, produced, and co-wrote her latest feature documentary Jewel’s Catch One, which is now streaming on Netflix and distributed by Ava DuVernay’s company ARRAY. In her digital work, she has produced award-winning social media branding content, winning four Webby Awards for creative digital campaigns. Recently Fitz directed on Season 4 of Ava DuVernay’s Queen Sugar for OWN. Currently she has features, scripted series and documentary films in development while also pursuing episodic scripted directing.

Follow C at @CFitz_ on Twitter!